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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Mar 10;26(8):1260-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.13.4338.

Use of different postmenopausal hormone therapies and risk of histology- and hormone receptor-defined invasive breast cancer.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, ERI 20, EA 4045, Institut Gustave Roussy, 94805 Villejuif Cedex, France.



We previously found that the risk of invasive breast cancer varied according to the progestagen component of combined postmenopausal hormone therapy (CHT): progesterone, dydrogesterone, or other progestagens. We conducted the present study to assess how these CHTs were associated with histology- and hormone receptor-defined breast cancer.


We used data from the French E3N cohort study, with 80,391 postmenopausal women followed for a mean duration of 8.1 years; 2,265 histologically confirmed invasive breast cancers were identified through biennial self-administered questionnaires completed from 1990 to 2002. The relative risks (RRs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models.


Compared with postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) never-use, ever-use of estrogen+progesterone was not significantly associated with the risk of any breast cancer subtype, but increasing duration of estrogen+progesterone was associated with increasing risks of lobular (P = .06) and estrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-negative (ER+/PR-; P = .02). Estrogen+dydrogesterone was associated with a significant increase in risk of lobular carcinoma (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.6). Estrogen+other progestagens was associated with significant increases in risk of ductal and lobular carcinomas (RR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.3 to 1.8; and 2.0; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.7, respectively), of ER+/PR+ and ER+/PR- carcinomas (RR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.1; and 2.6; 95% CI, 1.9 to 3.5, respectively), but not of ER-/PR+ or ER-/PR- carcinomas (RR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.5 to 2.1; and 1.4; 95% CI, 0.9 to 2.0, respectively).


The increase in risk of breast cancer observed with the use of CHTs other than estrogen+progesterone and estrogen+dydrogesterone seems to apply preferentially to ER+ carcinomas, especially those ER+/PR-, and to affect both ductal and lobular carcinomas.

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